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Artichoke

Key Staff

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Originally from Arlington, Texas, Nick received degrees in Business and Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Denver, CO in 2015. In 2016, he embarked on a transformative chapter by joining Teach for America in Buffalo. He immersed himself in the world of education, teaching in Buffalo City Schools, and later earned a degree in Special Education from Canisius College in 2018.

 

In 2019 he delved into Farm to School programing for Forestville Schools. Here, he worked to integrate locally grown foods into school meals and initiated the transition to fresh, scratch-cooked foods. Amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nick embraced a new challenge, channeling his passion for historic preservation into a profession. Working in Columbus, Ohio and across the state restoring buildings with slate, tile, and copper roofs.

 

Now, as he returns to Western New York, he brings a wealth of experience and a renewed dedication to fostering equitable food access in Jamestown and across the county. In his free time, you’ll find Nick, alongside his partner Damian, restoring their 1875 Victorian home in Gowanda. 

Nick Weith, Food Access Manager
Chili Peppers

Advisory Committee

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Sarah Gilbert
Director of Fundraising and Community Relations

Sarah Gilbert received her bachelor’s degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. Her studies centered on social justice, human rights and grassroots organizing. Sarah has worked in the nonprofit sector for 18 years as a community mobilizer and an advocate for disadvantaged populations. She worked with Christina Breen during their tenure at the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation to secure the USDA grant that provided funding for the Jamestown Public Market and allowed for the creation of the Mobile Market. Sarah currently works at The Chautauqua Center where she raises funds and provides outreach for community programs that improve access to healthcare and support services in our region.

JJ Gantenbein

Spiritual Mentor, Kundalini Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Lotus Fire Healing Arts

JJ Gantenbein of Lotus Fire Healing Arts has over twenty years of experience in the field of healing and uses their expertise as a gifted, intuitive, and compassionate teacher to mentor women. They instruct and gently guide with an open-hearted and radiant presence, and the embodied grace of a wise Spiritual Parent. They are passionate about utilizing their gifts to serve others and to uplift everyone they encounters.

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Justina Johnson
Nonprofit Development and Communications

Justina graduated from California State University, Chico in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and a Certificate in Literary Editing and Publishing. Her background in writing and editing has driven a career in grant-writing and non-profit fundraising, and she has served in management and development roles at non-profit organizations in California, Oregon, and New York.

Justina is passionate about social justice and environmental issues, and she loves reading, baking, and going on outdoor adventures with her family. 

Jessica Frederick is a former farmer and the Minister of Children, Youth & Families at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.  She believes in deep local roots and nourishing communities that create a vibrant common life. She studied Christian Ministries & Social Work at Messiah College, located outside of Harrisburg, PA.  Upon graduation, she spent three years living and working in the Occupied Palestinian Territories with Christian Peacemaker Teams, supporting Palestinian nonviolent resistance to the Israeli Occupation.  Inspired by her Palestinian friends and colleges, who were shepherds and farmers, she WNY to learn and practice sustainable organic agriculture.   Jessica created and ran Steady Plow Farm, LLC, growing vegetables and keeping bees until entering ministry full-time in June 2019. 

Jessica Frederick, CSA Coordinator
 
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Rev. Luke Fodor
 

The Rev. Luke Fodor is the Rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown.  He has three graduation degrees from the University of Durham in England, New York University, and Bexley Hall Seminary in Columbus, OH.  He came to Jamestown with his wife Willow and their two boys (Aidan and Kieran) from Long Island 7 years ago and since that time he has thrown himself into serving the community well beyond the walls of the church. 

 

After starting the Children of Book Summer Reading Camp for at-risk and struggling readers soon after his arrival, he has found himself increasingly pressed into public service and leadership.  He currently serves on the Boards of Chautauqua Striders, the Jamestown Renaissance Corp, and as Vice-President of the Jamestown YMCA.  Additionally, Luke is engaged in civic leadership serving on the City of Jamestown’s Riverfront Management Commission, on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and on the United Way-led Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative as the Chair of Economic Development & Poverty Reduction.  

 

He is committed locavore—dedicated to eat seasonally and locally.  Luke is excited by St. Luke’s partnership with the Jamestown Public and Mobile Markets and to the ways that these institutions create economic opportunity, foster an entrepreneurial culture, and provide healthy food downtown on Saturdays and through the city on Wednesdays. 

 

When not leading his parish or engaging in community service, Luke is likely to be found swimming in Cassadaga Lake, in the saddle of his bike or pounding the pavement training for his next triathlon or race.  

Leigh Rovegno fell in love with fresh produce when she started working on organic farms in 2000. Spent many seasons learning from’ the best of the best’ at Rosaly’s Garden located in Peterborough NH.

 

Determined to learn about the many different techniques used in sustainable agriculture, Leigh volunteered in Italy through the WOOF program (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) and also assisted at a biodynamic dairy farm. Later, she returned to college to pursue a degree in horticulture from the University of New Hampshire. However, after her first semester, she quickly realized that very few organic practices were being taught. She left the UNH horticulture program to pursue an environmental studies degree at Naropa University in Boulder CO. It was there that Leigh spearheaded a student-led initiative to install a self-sustaining greenhouse that was heated and powered entirely by the sun.

 

Upon graduation, Leigh started a one-acre CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm through the Denver Botanic Gardens which quickly grew to three acres serving more than 300 families. Leigh left her job as the farm’s creator and program manager to pursue her newest job – motherhood! Her time was then invested in creating a school garden program which provided hands-on learning opportunities for children in preschool through sixth grade.

 

Leigh and her family moved to the Jamestown area in 2018 when she accepted the position as Audubon Community Nature Center’s executive director. Since then, she has expanded her nature-knowledge to include trees, birds, and other less-farm-related subjects. She is thrilled to return to her ‘roots’ as part of the Jamestown Public Market’s Advisory Board.

Leigh Rovegno
Non Profit Development

 
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Sweet N Sudzy
Mario Vargas
LadySong Fiber Arts Studio
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Chrissy Conklin

Chrissy graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2010 with an associate degree in Culinary Arts. From there she moved to Houston Texas where she worked as a sous chef at Canopy Restaurant, which was farm-to-fork style.

When Chrissy moved back to Jamestown, NY she worked at Wegmans for a few years before leaving the culinary industry to work at Jamestown Business College. She earned her Bachelor’s in Business administration and went on to earn her Master's in Business Administration. She is currently using her culinary and business experience to help with her family's farm, Conklin Family Ranch. Their farm focuses on selling locally raised pork, black Angus beef, eggs, jams, fruit syrups, and seasonal vegetables.

While Chrissy is no longer cooking professionally, she is always using her culinary skills at home by hosting dinner parties and cooking for special events. Cooking and creating new dishes will always be a passion and interest for her.

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